Minden man’s son was at Pentagon during Sept. 11 attack
Fifteen years ago today, four U.S. Airliners were hijacked, two of which crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and another was rumored to be aiming for the White House before the passengers took over the hijacking and crashed the plane near Shanskville, Pa.
Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Braman was in his office at the Pentagon when his wife called and told him of the events in New York. He assured her that he was fine and that he loved her. As he hung up the phone, the building shook as the third plane passed by his office knocking him down from its impact. Smoke and panicking people filled the hallway as Braman ran to an exit. When he was outside, a DPS guard came stumbling around the corner with a woman and a baby. They were covered in ash and shock.
“Dear Lord, please give us strength for what we are about to do,” prayed Braman, and he ran back into the building using his T-shirt as a mask.
With help from Lt. Colonel Paul Ted Anderson, Lt. Col Edmudson, a medical doctor, Braman rescued many wounded and at least 63 deceased from the wreckage over the next four days. Among the injured was a 42-year old woman accountant who had began work at the Pentagon two days prior. She later called Braman her guardian angel in thanking him for saving her life.
Braman received the Army Soldier Medal for bravery, Purple Heart for his injuries and a minted coin in honor of American heroism.
The torch of duty and honor has been passed through generations in the Braman family.
“We come from a long line of the right people, in the right place, at the right time,” said Braman’s father Minden resident Doug Braman, a Vietnam veteran. Braman’s grandfather, Howard, was a Navy master chief during World War II. Each generation received the Purple Heart and medals in honor of their bravery and service to the country.
Through the smoke and debris at the Pentagon on Sept. 15 2001, Braman and a few other soldiers looked up and saw an American flag hanging from a window as if a reminder that it still stands.
Patriot Day serves as a remembrance of the lives lost on that September morning. Today marks the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the United Airlines Flight 93.
On this day it is asked that the American flag be flown at half-staff at individual homes, businesses, at the White House, and on all U.S. Government buildings and establishments home and abroad. It is also requested that a moment of silence is observed across the nation beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time, the time that the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.